Coronavirus Update: Ohio State Fair, Jazz & Ribs Fest, Community Testing & More
Keep up with regular news updates regarding Columbus and Ohio’s response to COVID-19 here.
COVID-19 cases — As of Thursday, May 21, 3,864 cases and 159 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported or are probable in Columbus and Worthington. Countywide, 5,060 cases and 212 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported, as reported by Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health.
Statewide, 30,167 cases and 1,836 deaths have been confirmed or are probable.
In Columbus, 20-to-29-year-olds and 30-to-39-year-olds continue to widen the gap between the next age range in COVID-19 cases.
Ohio State Fair Canceled
Organizers for the Ohio State Fair announced on Thursday that the Ohio State Fair has been canceled for 2020.
In a statement, organizers called the cancellation a “hiatus,” adding that instead, the fair would share educational content and memories from past years on social media.
Organizers also said the feasibility of a fair at reduced capacity was considered, but ultimately the decision was to cancel.
“The Ohio State Fair’s management team, as well as the Ohio Expositions Commission, have been carefully evaluating all available information from state and local health officials,” read the statement. “Today, the Ohio Expositions Commission voted to cancel the Ohio State Fair in effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the Fair for future generations.”
Jazz & Ribs Fest Canceled
As a part of Columbus Recreation and Parks’ summer programming announcements on Thursday, the department announced that Jazz & Ribs Fest and the African American Cultural Festival have both been canceled for 2020 due to mass gathering restrictions.
Bowling Alleys and Miniature Golf — Bowling alleys and miniature golf centers will join gyms, fitness centers and non-contact sports leagues in reopening on May 26. Operation requirements for these businesses can be found here.
Summer Student Athletics — It was also announced on Thursday that summer skills training and conditioning can resume for all sports. In turn, school buildings and facilities will be permitted to reopen.
Catering and Banquet Venues — These venues will be permitted to reopen with a maximum limit of 300 people. Operation standards for these venues will align with the requirements set out for restaurants and bars.
Minority Health Strike Force — A preliminary report from the strike force, created to address COVID-19 related health disparities in minority communities, will be released later on Thursday. In general, the report is said to outline recommendations for expanded testing, culturally sensitive messaging campaigns and the prioritization and accessibility for resources statewide.
Wexner Medical Center Expands Community Testing — The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has added a new location for community-based testing in northeast Columbus. The Wexner Medical Center Community Testing Center, at 2900 Inspire Drive, will have drive-thru testing using the medical center’s Community Care Coach.
Like other sites of interest for the medical center’s Health Equity Steering Committee, the community testing center borders target zip codes where residents tend to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 due to a variety of health and social factors, including socioeconomic status, race and underlying health conditions.
Individuals interested in testing at the site do not need a physician’s referral, however they will be required to register by phone in advance and need to meet certain guidelines for testing. Find more information here.
Columbus Recreation and Parks Summer Programming — Columbus Recreation and Parks has developed safety protocols going into its summer programming, and has announced changes to its program offerings and events.
Camps and classes will be offered beginning June 15 with limited group sizes, and families that have already registered but now feel uncomfortable with their child participating can withdraw with a full refund.
For more info on programming, visit www.columbus.gov/RecParksCOVID19.
For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.